Febuary 2017

The Rinaldi Report
     by Peter Rinaldi

Contact us: 55 Sgt. Prentiss drive, Suite 4, P.O. Box 17833, Natchez, MS 39122, 601-446-8803, missloumagazine@peoplepc.com

Policies worth supporting

    Over 30 years, I've never written an editorial endorsing a candidate's election, although I've certainly disfavored some from being re-elected. That's because it's better to support actual policies on a case by case basis. Sometimes politicians don't do right. But there are programs and policies we can always support.
    The real news: The media should report news as news and p.r. as p.r. Many media use public relations pieces as news. The fluff n stuff really doesn’t give the public what it deserves in news coverage.  The inter-relationship between the politicians and the media does not always serve the public interest. Sometimes that relationship is far too cozy.
    Report wrongdoing: There are few attempts by the local media to report political wrongdoing. Most of it is swept under the rug. If you wonder why officials feel they can get away with anything, it’s because they have little respect for the media in Natchez-Vidalia-Ferriday. Politicians have made lifelong careers by misleading the public. And the press has played a major role in allowing this to take place.
    Taxes: Our local politicians should actually lower property taxes significantly. They really are too high, when you consider our incomes. Proportionately, property taxes are higher in Natchez than in Naples, Florida, the second richest city in the nation.
    Straight scoop: Our politicians should speak candidly about economic development projects, recreation and similar plans. Stop throwing the bull. It’s good to tell the truth and bad to lie.
    Personnel oversight: Develop some personnel management within city, county and parish government. I am constantly amazed at how rude many local government employees are to the general public. Those employees feel loyalty to their government officials, but not to the people who actually pay their salaries.
    Tidy time: Clean up Natchez-Vidalia-Ferriday. We have far too many residences and businesses that are just littered with trash and abandoned junk. If we really want to attract new residents and new business, then a major clean-up is necessary. This involves changing attitudes. There is a direct proportion between the trashiness of a community and its lack of economic success.
​    School reform: Despite significant improvement in the quality of private education in the Miss-Lou area, the only notable local public school improvement of note is the establishment of Delta Charter School in Ferriday. Adams-Concordia public schools are generally in the doldrums at best and failing at worst (Natchez-Adams in particular). Without a real revolution in teaching methods and wholesale changes in personnel, this deterioration in public education will continue. Building a new high school in Natchez will not do anything to improve the quality of the product produced. But then, it appears that the local public education establishment is not really committed to revolutionary change for the better. As long as the money keeps flowing in, there will be little change. And of course, the prognosis for the future of any community that has poor public education is close to terminal.